BAMPFA Collection Print
Boris Plotnikov, Vladimir Gostiukhin, Ludmila Poliakova, Anatoly Solonitsyn,
Even if the Ukrainian-Soviet filmmaker Larissa Shepitko, who died in a car accident at age forty-one, had only made The Ascent, her name would be accorded a place of honor in the annals of contemporary cinema. A work of extraordinary emotional power and spiritual resonance, the film is set in snow-covered Byelorussian landscapes during the darkest days of World War II. Two soldiers are separated from their platoon, captured by the Germans, and sent to a prison camp. Thus begin two parallel yet connected journeys, as each man struggles with the meaning and value of one’s own life when set against ideas of patriotism or a commitment to others.
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